It seems like there’s a science fiction or horror film for just about every holiday: Christmas (Black Christmas,Silent Night, Deadly Night), Halloween (uh, all of them) and even Thanksgiving (Thankskilling, and soon, if Eli Roth gets his way, a full version of his Thanksgiving trailer from Grindhouse). Sadly, there aren’t that many for New Year’s Eve, but the one that I can think of is a doozy. It’s called The Signal, and if you haven’t seen it yet, it’s going to blow your mind.
The Signal is a science fiction horror film about a mysterious New Year’s Eve broadcast that sends anyone who hears or sees it into a murderous rampage. The signal goes out over every telecommunications device, from cell phones to televisions to radios, and within minutes, the streets of ”Terminus” are full of havoc. By coincidence, this was the night that a young married woman, Mya, was planning on leaving her husband, Lewis, with her boyfriend Ben. They’re separated during the chaos, and as the two try to work their way back to each other and away from the city, they cross paths with people driven mad by the signal. A collaborative effort by three different directors, Each “transmission” (chapter) of the movie presents a different tone, from black humor (a plainly psychotic couple still going about preparing for their New Year’s Eve party as if nothing has happened) to splatter (um, well. It involves a pair of garden shears.) and tragic romance (…)
This is a smart little film that takes a few left turns from the usual horror formula – there’s something distinctly Post-Modern here: Mya and Ben aren’t the kind of couple that one usually cheers for in a horror movie, and the signal isn’t that strange; it’s an enormous, bloody exaggeration of the usual cultural white noise that infects our brains on a daily basis via our televisions and radios. All of this highbrow jibber jabber aside, don’t be afraid to put this on and grab a bowl of popcorn. It’s an awfully entertaining movie that’s enjoyable on multiple levels, and just the thing to stay home and watch instead of taking your chances with the real New Year’s Eve craziness outside.